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10 snapshots into life as a volunteer doctor in Uganda

Hi, I’m Dr Lierka Rodriguez. I am a volunteer obstetrician and gynaecologist working in rural Uganda. I recently shared my experiences as a volunteer on VSO's dedicated Twitter channel - @VSOPeople. Here are some of my favourite updates:


1. Walking through the dusty streets of Gulu

Dusty street in Gulu, Uganda Lierka Rodriguez

Welcome to Gulu, a city in northern Uganda. I’m based in Gulu’s Regional Referral Hospital. There are only two seasons - right now we are “enjoying" the hot season.


2. Arriving at the hospital to find my students already practising without me

Lierka Rodriguez arrives at hospital to find her interns already practicing without her Lierka Rodriguez

What a pleasant feeling!


3. Neonatal care and resuscitation training time

Dolls used for resuscitation training in Uganda Lierka Rodriguez


Our interns really enjoy the practical training, especially with the dolls.


4. Still hard at work at 1am!

Lierka Rodriguez working on her laptop at 1am Lierka Rodriguez

Diary of a volunteer: This is non-stop work, but I enjoy every minute.


5. New day, new people to train

Driving to do ultrasound training in Awach Lierka Rodriguez

Heading to out for more ultrasound training in Awach. If we diagnose a woman early, using the ultrasound machines, it can help to prevent an emergency.


6. Real time demonstrations work best

This is what health training is all about – sharing knowledge, saving lives.


7. Using my imagination to teach interns during a power cut

Sometimes I have to get creative – last time we practiced different surgeries on pork, because pork is similar to human flesh. They laugh but we are reaching our goals!


8. Even on a Saturday I’m still working

As a worker you have a schedule, but as a volunteer you have a purpose. As a VSO health volunteer, my purpose is to preserve people’s lives – so here I am!


9. Being stopped on the street to meet a baby I helped bring into the world

Lierka Rodriguez meets a baby in the street she helped bring into the world Lierka Rodriguez

Every time a baby is born, it’s a miracle, and working in this field you get to be in the presence of that miracle.


10. Saying goodbye to one group of interns, ready to meet the next!

Lierka Rodriguez eating dinner with her interns Lierka Rodriguez

I can already see the change in these interns- when you work as a team you can reach any goal. Good luck guys.

Volunteers make it possible to give training for crucial care in Uganda, by sharing their skills and their time. I hope you enjoyed seeing what life is like as a VSO volunteer in Uganda, thanks for joining me on my journey!

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